Huskies basketball seals a home playoff game
As does hockey and Saints hoops
Battle Mountain basketball is in the playoffs and will be home Wednesday against an opponent to be determined.
The Huskies finished the regular season Friday night with a resounding 69-45 victory at Rifle. Battle Mountain (13-10) did a nice job of regrouping 24 hours after an emotional 67-66 win against Eagle Valley.
“Everybody really stepped up,” Huskies coach Philip Tronsrue said. “I think Eagle Valley was a hard-fought game, and then you turn around, and when it’s us and Rifle, it’s a slow-down, (metaphorically) throw-body-punches game. We came out and took control of the game.”
And that led to Liam McKenney with 32 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Owen Ruotolo had 13 points. Daniel Redinger came off the bench and played a pivotal role and Thorne Hensel added a midcourt 3-pointer at the buzzer.
The Huskies were No. 29 in the ratings-percentage index on Saturday afternoon with more games to be played throughout the state. In theory, they would be matched with the No. 35 team, which was Holy Family in this snapshot of time.
The bracket will be finalized over Sunday and Monday. Then the athletic directors of the schools need to get together to negotiate a time, but mark Wednesday on your calendars.
Saints fall at Soroco
And this, boys and girls, is why Vail Christian and Soroco have a rivalry.
Soroco sank Vail Christian boys basketball’s hope of a 2A Western Slope title Friday night, upsetting the Saints, 73-66.
The Rams knocked down 14 3s, including six from downtown during a 28-point first quarter.
Before anyone runs out and jumps into the Eagle River or nearby Lake Willmore, the Saints (15-3) are still the No. 1 seed in the Class 2A District 5 Tournament.
Vail Christian hosts the winner of Monday’s 8-9 play-in game — Hotchkiss at Rangely — at 6 p.m. TuesdayAs was the case last year, if the Saints win the district tournament, they host regionals, regardless of the ratings-percentage index (on Saturday, it was No. 12) March 6-7.
While Vail Christian’s success of late — both in football and basketball — has perhaps taken the edge of some Saints-Rams encounters, Friday was a reminder of why this rivalry is must-see sports, not to be confused with NBC’s Thursday night TV lineup of yore.
The Rams don’t like the Saints — and the feeling is mutual — and Soroco had one of its best games of the year.
“We tried four different defenses on them. They beat us. Hats off to them,” Saints coach Sheldon Kuhns said.
Alec Moritz had 28 points and 14 rebounds — not too bad of an evening — while Jamison Lee finished with 17 and Kaleb Williams had 11.
Vail Christian’s girls fell 57-48 but rallied from a 28-9 halftime deficit to make it close. The ladies play at West Grand at 6 p.m. Monday to start their district tournament.
Huskies hockey on a roll
Battle Mountain hockey is riding a six-game winning streak into the playoffs, which start at Dobson Arena at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The Huskies (10-7-2) capped the regular season Friday night with a 4-2 Senior Night win over Crested Butte.
Jack Suhadolink lit the lamp twice, and Luke Grimaldi and Joey Beveridge also scored.
“We had a rough patch at in the middle of the season, but I’m pleased with the way we finished,” Huskies coach Derek Byron said.
With the final regular-season game, Beveridge Parker Nash, Alex Parliament, Carson Dietz, Bella Borski, Nate Anderson, and Grimaldi took their bows.
As of Saturday night, Battle Mountain was ranked No. 13 in the ratings-percentage index and would host Castleview on Wednesday. As always with RPI speculation, your mileage may vary.